[Avodah] yehoshua ben gamla

Micha Berger via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Jul 29 09:07:59 PDT 2015

On Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 06:01:07PM +0300, Eli Turkel via Avodah wrote:
:> according to the Hebrew wikipedia Matyha bat Baytus bought the high
:> priesthood for her husband Yehoshua ben Gamla towards the end of the second
:> Temple. As we discussed it couldn't be from Alexander Jannai and they guess
:> that it was from Agripas II.

: Furthermore Yehoshua Ben Gamla was killed during the revolt against Rome.
: (Where the high priest Yishmael ben Elisha fits in we have discussed in the
: past)

The gemara is Yuma 18a and Yevamos 61a. The mishnah in Yevemos says
that Yehoshua ben Gamla married Marta bas Baisus, an almana, but before
consummating the marriage "umanahu melekh" to be kohein gadol, The point
of the mishnah is that they can stay married, as actually happened in
this event.

The gemara comments on the language of "manahu" rather than the expected
"nisnamneh" to denote that the appointment wasn't the usual approval
of a candidate selected by the kohanim and vetted by Sanhedrin.

Then the gemara says she spent two qavin ("tarqav" = trei + qav) of
dinarim to buy it. The gemara in Yuma makes this last point as well.

Josephus (Antiquities XX 9:4
wrote that he became KG during the reign of Herod Agrippa II. Nothing
about how. The translation reads weird, calls him "Jesus the son of

I went to the Soncino, since I don't know who else would comment on a
gemara - Josephus interaction. Fn 16 on Yuma, 20 on Yevamos make the
identity. They first opine that "Jannai is often employed in the Talmud
as a general patronymic for Hasmonean and Herodian rulers."

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
micha at aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                                - R' Binyamin Hecht

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